When Is Faith Too Little?
By: Gary Hutchens
On four different occasions Jesus used these words of rebuke: “O you of little faith.” Three times they were directed toward one or more of His apostles. The other time, during the sermon on the mount, He applied them more generally to all those gathered on that occasion. In each case Jesus emphasized that their faith was insufficient. The question we should all contemplate is, “How Much Faith Is Too “Little Faith”?
If we let worry overcome our faith in God to see us through, our faith is Too Little! When teaching on the necessities of life, and God’s power to care for us in those needs, Jesus said, “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’” (Matt. 6:30-31).
Giving in to fear can weaken our faith to the point that it will be Too Little! While crossing the sea with His disciples, Jesus fell asleep. A storm arose, and the waves were overwhelming the boat. Fearful of sinking, the disciples woke Jesus, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing! But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’” (Matt. 8:25-26).
If we give in to doubt, our faith will be Too little to assure us of God’s protection and deliverance. When Jesus was walking on the water toward the apostles, who were in a boat crossing the sea, He told Peter to come to Him on the water. As long as Peter kept his focus on the Lord, he was able to walk on the surface of the water. But when he became distracted by the strong winds tossing the waves, he began to sink and cried out, “Lord, save me! And Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’”
When we rely purely on human reasoning, leaving God out of the picture in a given matter, our faith is Too Little! Jesus tried to teach His disciples a spiritual lesson to be onguard against any negative influence from others. He said, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” (Matt. 16:6). Instead of asking Jesus to explain what He meant, they reasoned among themselves that He must have been rebuking them for having forgotten to bring bread with them (vs. 7). Jesus corrected them with these words: “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? (vs. 8).
There are other times when a person’s faith is Too Little! When a person will not make up his mind to become a Christian, his faith is Too Little! Jesus instructed, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mk. 16:15-16).
When a person will not commit to living a life of faithfulness to Christ, his faith is Too Little! Jesus said, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10). We could learn from Paul: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20).
Is your faith strong, committed, enduring? Or, is it Too Little?...
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Gary L. Hutchens